Popular Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Shinjiro Koizumi is viewed as the most suitable successor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as party president, according to an Asahi Shimbun survey.
The nationwide public opinion poll conducted May 18-19 listed six LDP lawmakers as possible candidates for the post, with 29 percent of respondents choosing Koizumi, a son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
He was followed by Shigeru Ishiba, a former LDP secretary-general, with 17 percent and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga with 6 percent. The other three, LDP policy chief Fumio Kishida, former internal affairs minister Seiko Noda and Foreign Minister Taro Kono, received 4 percent each. Of the remaining respondents, 26 percent said none of the candidates was the most suitable.
Support for Koizumi was especially high among women, at 32 percent, while 26 percent of male respondents selected him.
Ishiba proved to be popular among men, garnering support from 22 percent of them, with 12 percent among women.
Support for Ishiba was also high among respondents who did not support the Abe Cabinet, at 25 percent.
Suga obtained support from 11 percent of respondents who supported the Abe Cabinet and 11 percent of those who supported the LDP. Among respondents who did not support any particular political parties, however, only 4 percent supported him.
A similar survey conducted in October 2018 listed the names of the same lawmakers except for Suga. At that time, Koizumi topped the list with 28 percent, followed by Ishiba with 22 percent, Kono with 6 percent, Kishida with 5 percent and Noda with 4 percent.
The support rate for the Abe Cabinet stood at 45 percent in the latest survey, up from 44 percent in the previous survey conducted April 13-14. The nonsupport rate remained the same at 32 percent.
The survey covered eligible voters selected randomly by computer.
Among 1,945 households reached through landline telephones, 910 people, or 47 percent, provided valid responses. Of 2,226 people reached through mobile phones, 996, or 45 percent, gave valid responses.